managing per diem nurses

Managing Per Diem Nurses: Key Strategies Unveiled

Introduction to Per Diem Nurses

When it comes to managing a healthcare facility, having an effective strategy for managing per diem nurses is essential. In this section, we will provide an introduction to per diem nurses and explore the benefits of hiring them.

What Are Per Diem Nurses?

Per diem nurses, also known as PRN (pro re nata) nurses, are healthcare professionals who work on an as-needed basis. Unlike full-time or part-time nurses, per diem nurses have the flexibility to choose when and where they work. They often fill in staffing gaps or cover shifts during peak periods, vacations, or emergencies.

Per diem nurses provide valuable support to healthcare facilities by ensuring that staffing levels remain adequate, which is crucial for maintaining quality patient care. They bring their expertise and skills to various departments, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare settings.

The Benefits of Hiring Per Diem Nurses

Hiring per diem nurses offers several benefits for healthcare facilities. These benefits include:

  1. Flexibility: Per diem nurses provide flexibility in staffing, allowing healthcare facilities to adjust their workforce based on fluctuating patient volumes and staffing needs. This flexibility helps ensure that the right number of nurses are available at all times, optimizing patient care.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring per diem nurses can be a cost-effective solution for healthcare facilities. Since per diem nurses are typically paid on an hourly basis, facilities can save on expenses such as benefits and paid time off, which are associated with full-time or part-time employees.
  3. Specialized Skills: Per diem nurses bring a diverse range of skills and experiences to healthcare facilities. Their ability to adapt quickly to different environments and patient populations makes them valuable assets. They can fill in gaps in specialty areas, ensuring that patients receive specialized care when needed.
  4. Reduced Burnout: By utilizing per diem nurses, healthcare facilities can help alleviate burnout among their full-time staff. Per diem nurses can provide relief during busy periods, giving regular nurses an opportunity to rest and recharge. This can contribute to higher job satisfaction and reduce turnover rates.

By understanding the role and benefits of per diem nurses, healthcare facilities can effectively incorporate them into their staffing strategies. In the following sections, we will delve into key strategies for managing per diem nurses, including clear communication, efficient scheduling, and utilizing technology.

Strategies for Effective Per Diem Nurse Management

Managing per diem nurses requires a thoughtful approach to ensure smooth operations and optimal patient care. Implementing key strategies can help healthcare facilities effectively manage their per diem nursing staff. This section will explore three essential strategies: clear communication and expectationsefficient scheduling and shift management, and onboarding and training process.

Clear Communication and Expectations

Clear communication is vital when managing per diem nurses. Establishing open lines of communication between the nursing staff and management fosters a positive work environment and enhances collaboration. Regular team meetings, email updates, and accessible communication channels ensure that all nurses are informed about any changes, updates, or important policies.

Setting clear expectations is equally important. Clearly outlining the roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations for per diem nurses helps them understand their responsibilities within the healthcare facility. Communicating guidelines, protocols, and procedures ensures consistency and helps maintain high-quality patient care.

Efficient Scheduling and Shift Management

Efficient scheduling and shift management contribute to the smooth operation of healthcare facilities. When managing per diem nurses, it’s essential to have a streamlined process for scheduling and assigning shifts. Utilizing per diem nurse scheduling software can simplify the process and ensure proper coverage.

Consider the needs of the healthcare facility and the preferences of the per diem nurses when creating the schedule. Balancing the workload and providing a fair distribution of shifts helps prevent burnout and maintain nurse satisfaction. Flexibility in scheduling can also be a significant advantage when managing per diem nurses, as it allows them to choose shifts that align with their availability.

Onboarding and Training Process

A well-structured onboarding and training process is crucial for per diem nurses to become familiar with the healthcare facility’s policies, procedures, and culture. Providing comprehensive orientation sessions and training programs ensures that per diem nurses are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their duties effectively.

During the onboarding process, it’s essential to review key information such as emergency protocols, documentation procedures, and safety guidelines. Additionally, offering opportunities for shadowing experienced nurses or providing mentorship programs can help per diem nurses acclimate to their new work environment and build rapport with the permanent staff.

By investing time and resources into a robust onboarding and training process, healthcare facilities can ensure that per diem nurses are well-prepared to deliver high-quality care.

Managing per diem nurses effectively requires a combination of clear communication, efficient scheduling, and comprehensive onboarding and training. By implementing these strategies, healthcare facilities can optimize their per diem nursing staff and maintain a seamless workflow.

Building a Strong Relationship with Per Diem Nurses

Establishing a strong and positive relationship with per diem nurses is essential for effective management. By focusing on recognition and appreciationproviding support and resources, and fostering a positive work environment, you can cultivate a collaborative and motivated team of per diem nurses.

Recognition and Appreciation

Recognizing the hard work and dedication of per diem nurses is a key component of building a strong relationship. Acknowledge their contributions and express appreciation for their efforts. This can be done through simple gestures such as verbal praise, thank-you notes, or recognition programs. By valuing their work, you create a sense of belonging and motivate them to continue delivering exceptional care.

Providing Support and Resources

Offering support and resources to per diem nurses is crucial for their success. Ensure they have access to the necessary tools, equipment, and supplies needed to perform their duties effectively. Provide ongoing training and professional development opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge, enabling them to excel in their roles. By investing in their growth, you demonstrate your commitment to their professional advancement.

Additionally, establish channels for open communication and encourage per diem nurses to voice their concerns or seek guidance when needed. This fosters a supportive environment where they feel valued and supported.

Foster a Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive work environment is essential for building strong relationships with per diem nurses. Foster a culture of respect, collaboration, and teamwork. Encourage open dialogue and create opportunities for nurses to engage with one another and share their experiences. Celebrate successes as a team and address any conflicts or issues promptly and professionally.

Promote work-life balance by providing a flexible scheduling system that accommodates their needs. Consider implementing innovative scheduling solutions to simplify the scheduling process and enhance nurse satisfaction.

By fostering a positive work environment, you create a sense of camaraderie and belonging among per diem nurses, leading to increased job satisfaction and improved patient care.

Building a strong relationship with per diem nurses is a continuous process that requires consistent effort and attention. By incorporating strategies for recognition and appreciationproviding support and resources, and fostering a positive work environment, you can cultivate a motivated and engaged team of per diem nurses, ensuring the success of your healthcare organization.

Maximizing Per Diem Nurse Productivity

To effectively manage per diem nurses and ensure optimal productivity, it is essential to implement strategies that streamline documentation and reporting, ensure adequate staffing levels, and utilize technology and tools to enhance efficiency.

Streamlining Documentation and Reporting

Efficient documentation and reporting processes are crucial for per diem nurse productivity. Implementing electronic health record (EHR) systems can streamline documentation, making it easier for per diem nurses to access patient information and input their notes accurately and efficiently. This not only saves time but also ensures that important patient data is readily available for the entire healthcare team.

Furthermore, providing clear guidelines and templates for documentation can help standardize the process and minimize errors. This ensures that per diem nurses can focus on patient care rather than spending excessive time on administrative tasks. Additionally, offering training and support on the proper use of documentation systems can further enhance productivity.

Ensuring Adequate Staffing Levels

Maintaining appropriate staffing levels is vital for per diem nurse productivity. It is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of patient acuity, unit needs, and staffing trends to ensure that the right number of per diem nurses are scheduled for each shift. This can be achieved by utilizing advanced scheduling software that takes into account factors such as patient volume, nurse availability, and skill mix.

In addition to scheduling, effective communication between the per diem nurses and the staffing office is crucial. Providing a centralized platform or system for per diem nurses to communicate their availability and preferences can improve scheduling efficiency and reduce potential staffing gaps.

Utilizing Technology and Tools

Leveraging technology and tools can significantly enhance the productivity of per diem nurses. Mobile applications and communication platforms can facilitate seamless communication and coordination among the healthcare team, enabling quick response times and efficient collaboration.

Additionally, implementing digital tools for tasks such as medication administration, vital sign monitoring, and patient assessments can streamline workflows and reduce the time spent on manual processes. These tools can automate certain aspects of patient care, allowing per diem nurses to focus more on direct patient interaction and critical thinking.

Furthermore, providing per diem nurses with access to educational resources and training modules through online platforms can help them stay updated with the latest practices and enhance their professional development. This not only contributes to their productivity but also promotes a culture of continuous learning.

By maximizing per diem nurse productivity through streamlined documentation and reporting, ensuring adequate staffing levels, and utilizing technology and tools, healthcare organizations can optimize their utilization of per diem nurses and provide high-quality patient care.

Managing Per Diem Nurse Performance

Effectively managing the performance of per diem nurses is essential for ensuring quality patient care and maintaining a cohesive healthcare team. Here are key strategies to help you manage the performance of your per diem nursing staff.

Setting Performance Expectations

To establish a foundation for success, it is crucial to set clear performance expectations for per diem nurses. Clearly communicate the standards, responsibilities, and goals that are expected of them. This includes providing a detailed job description, outlining specific performance metrics, and discussing the core values and mission of your organization.

When setting performance expectations, it is important to consider the unique nature of per diem nursing. Since per diem nurses work on a temporary basis, establish clear guidelines for their role within the team and how they should integrate with the full-time staff. This clarity will help ensure that per diem nurses understand their responsibilities and can perform their duties effectively.

Providing Feedback and Performance Reviews

Regular feedback and performance reviews are essential for helping per diem nurses understand their strengths and areas for improvement. Provide constructive feedback in a timely manner to address any performance gaps and recognize outstanding work. Feedback should focus on specific incidents or situations and be delivered in a supportive and constructive manner.

In addition to ongoing feedback, consider conducting periodic performance reviews to assess the overall performance of per diem nurses. These reviews can help identify areas of growth and development, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss career aspirations and potential opportunities within the organization.

Addressing Performance Issues

In cases where performance issues arise, it is important to address them promptly and professionally. Begin by gathering objective information and evidence regarding the performance concern. Schedule a private meeting with the per diem nurse to discuss the issue, allowing them to share their perspective. Use this opportunity to provide feedback, offer guidance, and develop a plan for improvement.

If performance issues persist despite efforts to address them, it may be necessary to implement a formal performance improvement plan (PIP). A PIP outlines specific areas of concern, sets goals for improvement, and establishes a timeline for monitoring progress. Regular check-ins should be conducted during the PIP period to assess progress and provide support as needed.

By setting clear performance expectations, providing feedback and performance reviews, and addressing performance issues in a proactive manner, you can effectively manage the performance of your per diem nursing staff. Remember, effective communication and support are key to fostering a positive work environment and promoting the success of your per diem nurses.

Streamlining Per Diem Nurse Management with ESHYFT

Facility managers can optimize their per diem nurse management process by utilizing ESHYFT, a cutting-edge scheduling and communication platform. With its user-friendly interface and advanced features, ESHYFT simplifies per diem nurse management, allowing facility managers to focus on delivering high-quality patient care.

ESHYFT enables facility managers to easily schedule shifts for per diem nurses based on their availability and qualifications. The platform also provides real-time communication tools that allow for seamless collaboration between the nursing staff and the facility management team.

In addition to scheduling and communication capabilities, ESHYFT offers robust reporting and analytics features that provide valuable insights into per diem nurse utilization and performance. This data can be used to optimize staffing levels, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.

By implementing ESHYFT into your per diem nurse management process, facility managers can save time, reduce administrative burden, and enhance the overall quality of patient care. Learn more about how ESHYFT can transform your facility’s per diem nurse management by visiting our website.


Managing per diem nurses effectively is crucial for the smooth operation of healthcare facilities. By implementing the strategies and techniques outlined in this playbook, healthcare organizations can optimize their per diem nurse management and create a positive work environment for their per diem nursing staff.

Clear communication and expectations are vital to ensure that per diem nurses understand their roles and responsibilities. By providing detailed information about shifts, policies, and procedures, healthcare organizations can foster a sense of clarity and reduce confusion. Efficient scheduling and shift management practices, along with the utilization of advanced employee scheduling software, can help streamline the process and ensure adequate coverage.

Onboarding and training processes play a significant role in integrating per diem nurses into the healthcare team. By providing comprehensive orientation programs and ongoing educational opportunities, healthcare organizations can help per diem nurses feel supported and confident in their roles. Investing in per diem nurse workforce management strategies and technologies can enhance the onboarding experience and ensure that per diem nurses are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality care.

Building a strong relationship with per diem nurses is essential for their job satisfaction and retention. Recognizing and appreciating their contributions can boost morale and motivate them to perform at their best. Providing support and resources, such as access to educational materials and professional development opportunities, can further enhance their skills and job satisfaction. A positive work environment that promotes collaboration and teamwork is also crucial for fostering strong relationships with per diem nurses.

Maximizing per diem nurse productivity involves optimizing documentation and reporting processes to reduce administrative burdens. By utilizing technology and tools like electronic health records and mobile apps, healthcare organizations can streamline these tasks, allowing per diem nurses to focus more on patient care. Ensuring adequate staffing levels is also vital to prevent burnout and maintain optimal patient outcomes.

Managing per diem nurse performance requires setting clear performance expectations, providing regular feedback, and conducting performance reviews. Addressing performance issues promptly and constructively is essential for maintaining a high standard of care and professionalism. By implementing these performance management practices, healthcare organizations can support the growth and development of their per diem nursing staff.

In conclusion, effective management of per diem nurses involves a combination of clear communication, efficient scheduling, onboarding and training processes, building strong relationships, maximizing productivity, and managing performance. By implementing these strategies, healthcare organizations can optimize their per diem nurse management practices, resulting in a well-functioning and highly skilled per diem nursing workforce.


Need help staffing your facility?

We have thousands of CNAs, LPNs, and RNs ready to fill your shifts! See how ESHYFT can help you today.
With ESHYFT you get:

Access to thousands of vetted W-2 nursing professionals.

A technology built by nursing home administrators.

Complete transparency and control of your costs.

24/7 support & a dedicated success manager.